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Gaza: A Truce At All Costs?

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Shifts in the propaganda war waged between Israelis and Palestinians

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French MPs face quandary in pro-Palestinian rallies

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Yezid Sayigh, Senior Associate at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut

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News seen on the web and about the web. From Monday to Friday at 8.20 am Paris time.

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Latest update : 2010-02-08

New generation of opponents use the Internet against Burma military junta

In this edition: the Turkish blogosphere full of news of the strike movement of workers from the tobacco company Tekel. Young Burmese people stand up to the ruling junta using music and the Internet as weapons.

 

GENERAL STRIKE IN TURKEY
 
A massive strike mobilizing thousands of people was organised on Thursday in Ankara, Turkey. The aim was to express solidarity with the workers of the tobacco company Tekel, who are threatened with losing their jobs due to the privatization of their company. The blogosphere is also showing it’s support.
 
Around 2000 Tekel employees have been on strike for over 50 days. And, as these images broadcast online show, many demonstrate regularly in the streets of the Turkish capital, demanding an improvement in working conditions from their government.
 
As this blogger states, to compensate for their loss of employment, the Turkish government offered Tekel workers precarious posts in public services. A proposition denounced by the strikers who would lose their status of civil servant.
 
This journalist who is at the scene, says on her blog that the level of support received by Tekel employees from the population is impressive. She notes that the strikers who are camping in front of their trade union building are being given wood to make fires as well as blankets and food.
 
This web user thinks that this massive support from the population could push the government to reconsider it’s position. Up until now, the authorities had ignored the demonstrators, hoping that the movement would run out of steam.
 
And the Tekel fight is seen by some as a good example of resistance to the excesses of capitalism. This site collects messages of support for the movement from workers and trade union members over the world.
 
 
RAPPING AGAINST THE BURMESE JUNTA
 
Rap to stand up to the military junta. In Burma, the new generation of opponents is using music and the Internet to protest against the regime and demonstrate their support to Aung San Suu Kyi. The democrat opposition leader, currently under house arrest, could be freed next November, while the elections promised by the country’s ruling party should take place this year.
 
Young militants could have their role to play in this vote. Their movement, baptised generation Wave, was started in 2007, following demonstrations led by Buddhist monks. This is why members of this group have adopted the colour saffron and have shaved their heads.
 
They broadcast their songs on the web and spread graffiti in the streets of the capital to encourage young people to stand up to the regime.
 
This movement which is forbidden in Burma, has around one hundred members, the most of whom are refugees in Thailand. Many of them have been arrested over the past few years and several of them are still behind bars.
 
This is the case for two of the three members of Acid, a founding group of Burmese hip hop. In 2008, they were sentenced to 6 years in prison for making antigovernment propaganda. These are images of their last concert in 2007.
 
 
TAKE AWAY SHOWS IN UGANDA
 
La Blogotheque is going to Uganda. This collective, well known on the web for it’s videos of improvised concerts, was called upon by the NGO Invisible children who campaign for the liberation of child soldiers in countries ravaged by civil war. Their aim to invite 3 musical groups to give several concerts in refugee camps next March. Amongst them, the American group Polyphonic Spree.
 
ERROR 404
 
To come upon the 404 error message is generally not a good sign for a web user. It means that the page you are looking for cannot be found. Web designers are competing in creativity to try and soften the blow. This blog lists the web’s most original and amusing error pages.
 
VIDEO OF THE DAY
 
But where does my petrol money go? The NGO Oxfam is trying to answer this question in this animation. Petrol company’s profits, middle mens expenses, bribes, you name it it happens. The objective of the film is to denounce the lack of transparency in the management of income generated by this much coveted resource.

 

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